It’s been a while.
I’ve been busy with work, both comics-related and media related. I’ve been getting a lot of hands-on experience in business administration, so I can apply it to my comics publishing business when it finally gets off the ground.
I’ve been doing comics on EnterVoid , a website for both professional and up-and-coming comic artists to polish their skills and keep improving their work. My work can be found here.
I’ve also started uploading experimental pieces and design sketches into an Anipan account. I’m finding the interface really fun to play with.
I’ll soon be refreshing this website, so look forward to newer, fresher work from me!
Quick sketch I did of Ehren Chang/M-Zero-Oh on a bike. There’s a long-running joke between my friends and I that M-Zero-Oh should have a motorcycle because he’s very much inspired by Japanese superheroes, who seem to be required to have them.
I don’t think I’ll give M-Zero-Oh a bike in his story (he can’t afford one), but he’d sure like to have one!
Character movement study sketches I did for M-Zero-Oh. I’ll be entering this character into Void, as well as working on developing another comic story.
Suda51 (Twitter account here , wiki entry here ) is probably one of my favorite designers right now. Even though his medium of choice is videogames, that doesn’t mean that his writing and his way of presenting his creations is any less inferior to “real” designers. With every game that he releases, he continues to push the boundaries of presentation, interaction, and occasionally good taste. Suda51′s favorite mantra is “Punk’s Not Dead!”, and it shows with his willingness to ignore the standards of videogame presentation.
“killer7″ is my favorite game from Suda51. The flat planes and solid shapes of the world and characters, the underlying political cautionary tale, the music, and the beautifully unhinged people who populate this digital world. The fact that the main cast comes from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities is something that appeals to me as well. There aren’t very many action games where you get to play as a hapa (multiracial), and in “killer7″, nearly everyone is mixed race. I don’t have a favorite out of the main characters, as all of the killer7 have unique personalities and quirks that appeal to me. Therefore, whenever I sketch anyone from the main cast of “killer7″, I feel compelled to draw all of them–as the sketch from above shows.
It’s been quite a long time, and I’ve been pretty busy over these past few months. Recently, I’ve been doing some work with the Center for Asian American Media, working as an intern and helping with the 30th San Francisco Asian American Film Festival.
While it’s not a solid illustration job per say, I have been really enjoying learning about business, film, and how a nonprofit works. The fact that CAAM supports Asian-American artists in the community and works to promote their voices is also a big bonus. I’m excited to see how the festival turns out, and I hope you all will attend as well.
More info on CAAM and the SFIAAFF can be found at their website here.
I’ve also been doing some transcription contract work on the side.
The Western New Year has passed, and in accordance with tradition, I did a quick sketch using the only pen I could find nearest me. Since I also celebrate the Lunar New Year, I get to do a “first drawing of the new year” again when the time comes around. This year, I look forward to working hard, doing more comics, and working with lots of ink.
I’ve been busy over these past few weeks–in between my day job I’ve been working on putting together a few books for my comic series, “Kolbee and Speck”, which can be summed up as “Two cats run a restaurant in a town based off that of Volcano, Hawaii”. My day job has served as great inspiration for that series, too.
At SF Zinefest, which happened a little while ago, I was selling handmade lithographic prints and character stickers from “Kolbee and Speck” (the Speck sticker above, minus speechbubble, was available for sale along with several other designs) along with some work from my talented buddies Mutsumi Kanzawa,Alex Babakitis, Jackie Lo, and Tony–whose last name I’m kicking myself for not being able to remember– but his illustration work is amazing. We also promoted Southtown Arcade, who’s been extremely supportive of the local artistic community.
Bay Area Illustrator's table at Zinefest
I manned the table on Sunday along with Alex Babakitis, and we appreciated that everyone who stopped by our table really dug our work. Thanks to all who bought from us! Next time, I’ll have some “Kolbee and Speck” books to sell–and maybe I’ll bring along some “Apana” books, too. We’ll see.
Half of my sketchbook right now is made up of progress sketches and thumbnails for comics. This is also how I start work on my comics, as I make sure to nail down my composition and panel layout before I go to rough pencils.
One of my more recent sketches. My friend Alex Babakitis is planning to make his own fighting game, and this was one of the concept sketches I knocked out for a thief-type character. While most of the original design wasn’t used, the idea for the character came from this sketch.
I’ve gotten back into both martial arts (wingchun, my first time taking a Chinese martial art) and fighting games. I’ve always loved the interesting, over-the-top interpretations of preexisting fighting styles, and some of the newer games can get really technical or mindgame-like, sort of like actual martial arts.
Since I can’t afford a console, I play my favorite fighting games over at Southtown Arcade , located right before Chinatown on Stockton Street in SF. Arcades are dying out, which is kind of a shame since I personally believe that it’s way better to play against people you can see face to face. You get to know them for who they are instead of just who they play. There’s a real community vibe at Southtown that I like, since the regulars come from all over the Bay Area (and some from as far as San Jose and Castro Valley!) to meet up and play with friends. Southtown also holds “ranked battle” local tournaments–in one of the last ones I participated in, I gave the winner of the tournament an on-the-spot sketch as a prize.
Waiting for one’s turn between rounds of Street Fighter give me a lot of time to sketch the people playing there, too, which I like a lot.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking as of late, due to the fact that I recently went through something that was part wake-up call and part personal reassessment.
Without getting into it further, I’ve decided to backtrack and upload what I was originally going to post from my sketchbook.
A few months ago I had the great fortune of meeting one of my childhood heroes, Junko Mizuno. When I was still in high school I had the great fortune to discover copies of her books “Pure Trance”, “Cinderalla” and “Hansel and Gretel” at SEED bookstore in Hilo (which sadly does not exist anymore, RIP.) I was selling my own comic zines at the same place, but up until that point I hadn’t realized how far you could take storytelling and art in comics until I saw Junko Mizuno’s work. Her comics and illustration had a huge influence on me, and inspired me to experiment with my comic panels. Being able to meet her was a dream come true, and she was very friendly and easy to talk to. She was also very forthcoming about her experiences in the publishing industry, which surprised me a bit, but I did take away a lot from meeting her.
My friend Jackie Lo was also there in attendance, and conducted an interview with Junko for Green Tea Graffiti. The interview can be read here. While the interview was going on, I sketched Junko, who insisted on taking a picture of it with her cell phone later. Needless to say, I was giddy for the rest of the afternoon.
Junko’s website and online portfolio can be accessed here.